Audio Lesson #8: Situational Lost Communications

Mechanical or Situational Lost Comm? Check your switches.

You call Kansas City Center and there’s no reply. Now what? Either your radio has died; or, you have flown out of radio range; or, you have set your communication switches incorrectly. If the radio is working, and you cannot speak to the person on the ground that you were talking to earlier, you are in something I call Situational Lost Comm.

In this audio lesson, we’ll look at Situational Lost Comm. Specifically we’ll look at:

  • How do you know when you are in Situational Lost Comm.
  • What are your immediate actions when you first realize you’ve lost communication.
  • Some examples of how to handle Situational Lost Comm.
  • Through it all, I’ll remind you again and again to maintain aircraft control and continue to navigate.
  • No airplane ever crashed due to simple lost comm. You, the pilot have to neglect your primary flying duties to turn simple lost comm into a life-threatening situation, so don’t be neglectful.
  • Your priorities are always 1. Aviate. 2. Navigate. 3. Communicate.

I know a pilot who routinely lost radio comm because his aircraft radio was hard-wired to a low capacity battery. Got any stories or questions about lost comm? I’d love to hear them. Write or call me.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

8 thoughts on “Audio Lesson #8: Situational Lost Communications”

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Great audio lesson, Situational loss comm. is should be taught in flight schools, Keep coming with these lessons…These are making all of us better aviators. Patrick Helicopter Pilot

    1. Thanks Patrick. I’ve got something new coming out today, plus a serious game in the works that teaches situational awareness on the radios.

      Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I guess the situational loss of communication is ok for helicopter even if you couldn’t fix it(either hardware failure or by human mistake), but how about an airplane, he continues to fly, but he needs to land on the ground finally.

    WenQing

    1. Wenqing,

      I think what you are asking is, how does a pilot without a working radio land at an airport, because a helicopter doesn’t need an airport to land. There a lot of airports where you don’t need a radio to land. There are many airports not controlled by ATC. Even at airports with an ATC tower, you can still receive communication from the ATC tower by light signals. Every airport tower has a powerful light gun that shines red, green or white light depending on what the tower controller chooses. Certain colors mean different things. For example, a steady green light from the tower means “Cleared to land.” You can read about these in the U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations. I also wrote short article about it in the “Answers to Questions in the Radar Contact Newsletter,” found at the Insider’s page of this website.

      Good question. Thank you,

      Jeff

      1. Dear sir
        I am koong in Laos, I need to be an air traffic controller
        Could you help me ,what can I do ? I need some information of Air traffic service, ( Vocabulary for ATC)
        Because I will be an examination on the end of jan,2012
        thank you in advance
        best regard

Leave a Reply to JeffKanarish Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts

Learning Radio Skills from Pilots

There is a misconception among new pilots that listening to other pilots speak on the radio is a good way to learn radio phrasing. My opinion is, maybe, but probably not. Listen to the audio in this 1:10 video. These are all presumably experienced pilots communicating with Peachtree Tower at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (KPDK). Ear-opening, yes?

New Day, New Jet

"New day, new jet." That is an Air Force Instructor Pilot's standard statement that means the current training scenario is over, and a new one has begun. It is a line of demarcation that reminds student pilots it is time to move on to the next challenging scenario. It's a new day here at ATCcommunication.com,

Flying into Class B for the First Time

If you are anticipating flying into Class B airspace for the first time, not to worry. The procedures ATC uses inside of Class B are nearly identical to those used in other classes of airspace. The subtle variations in procedure will most likely be unnoticeable to you. What may jump out at you is the

Pilot’s Discretion Descents

As you approach your destination, ATC will clear you to begin a descent from your enroute altitude to some lower altitude. Often descent clearances will come in a series of lower altitudes. This series of step-down clearances is issued to allow you to descend without conflicting with other traffic at lower altitudes. Occasionally, and in

I Hate Holding

No one likes to have their forward progress stopped. You know what I mean. When you are stuck in a traffic jam on the road, it’s very aggravating. Waiting at a long red stoplight when you need to be somewhere can raise your blood pressure. Similarly, when ATC says, “Expect holding at [a navigation fix],”

Scroll to Top